How to Create the Perfect Outdoor Space for Hosting Guests

There’s a lot that goes into hosting guests, not the least of which is creating an ideal environment to host in. With indoor gatherings currently discouraged, many are turning to outdoor spaces as an alternative. Just like arranging a space within your home to host, creating a great space outside to host guests takes a lot of work.

Give It a New Paint Job

Your home’s exterior serves as something of a backdrop to your hosting space. Take a close look at your exterior walls. How’s the siding holding up? An exterior paint job doesn’t tend to last as long in humid climates like those found in Florida. If you want to breathe some fresh life into it and make it look as presentable as possible, consider giving it a fresh coat of paint. Painting is best done during the winter, thanks to the relatively low humidity and mild winter temperatures. The more temperate climate allows the paint to dry faster than it would in more humid conditions. With winter being part of the dry season in Florida, there’s less of a chance of a rainstorm ruining the paint before it’s dry.

Weather Proof It

Florida rains can be brutal when they come. While the rainy season takes place May-October, you still get showers during the rest of the year as well. If you want to maintain a good outdoor hosting space, you’ll need to take steps to protect it from wind and rain. If you have a patio or deck, consider adding a cover to it to provide some shelter from the rain. Hurricane winds can wreak havoc on your house if it catches roofs just right, so you might consider a covering you can detach or put away in the event of high winds. Make sure you treat any wood surfaces to help them withstand high volumes of water.

Create Some Shade

The Florida sun can be brutal in any season, but especially during the summer. If you’re entertaining outdoors, you’ll need to find ways to create some shade for your guests. Umbrellas and awnings can be good options. Umbrellas can often be moved around or rotated to provide a shield from the sun regardless of its position. If you want an attractive design element that doubles as a source of shade, a pergola is a good option to consider. There are even some pergolas that are designed to withstand hurricane winds, which can make them an ideal option for the Florida homeowner.

Make the Right Furniture Choices

Your guests will likely want to sit down at some point, so to create the perfect outdoor space for hosting you’ll need to provide seating options. Choosing the right outdoor furniture takes some research though. It’s important to choose pieces that will hold up to the Florida climate and still be comfortable. Wood is often a popular choice for outdoor furniture, but it can be tricky. You’ll need to find ways to protect it from the elements. Exposure to direct sunlight can harm wood furniture. Unless it’s properly treated, wood doesn’t tend to hold up to water well either. You may be better off with more water-resistant options that are resistant to sun damage.

Light It Up

Not all parties happen during the day. In fact, it’s often better to hold them later since the temperatures are often more friendly to being outside. You’ll have less daylight, so make sure you have a way to light up your outdoor space. Fire pits are a fun option for gatherings, encouraging people to come together to enjoy the flames. Alternatively, you could add outdoor lamps to give the space a more in-home feel. If you’ve added sources of shade to your space, you can use them as a place from which to hang strings of lights for a fun way to light things up.

Choosing Decor

Adding tasteful decor to your hosting space is a great way to add finishing touches. You could use themed decor if the party you’re hosting has a specific theme to it. If you already have pieces of decor in your house that would work for your gathering, you can move them outside instead of purchasing new pieces. Alternatively, you can purchase decor specifically for your entertaining space. Since it will be outdoors, it’s important to take the climate and the materials into consideration. If it isn’t something that will hold up well to being outside all the time, consider bringing it back inside when it’s not in use or when the weather dictates.

Eliminate Pests

Pests are a problem in every region, and Florida is no exception. While many of them don’t want to be around humans, others, such as mosquitoes, have no such disposition. In fact, for mosquitoes, humans are where it’s at. If you want to protect the comfort of your guests, take steps to eliminate pesky pests that might come to call. There are multiple ways to deter mosquitoes. They aren’t especially strong fliers, so even something like installing fans around your space can be enough to blow them away. As an added bonus, your guests may appreciate the breeze they create.

Maintaining Your Plants

Your backyard and the plant life in it provide the other half of the background for your party. Maintaining it well will help create a pleasant atmosphere, similarly to how a clean home does. To maintain your plants properly, you’ll need to understand their specific needs. If you have native Florida plant life, you may not need to do much beyond making sure it doesn’t overrun everything, since it’s already adapted to the environment. Take the time to mow or trim your lawn and maintain it to keep it green and beautiful.

If you want to create the perfect hosting space outside, there’s a lot of work to do. There are different aspects of appearance to address and comfort to manage. If you do it right though, you’ll create an outdoor space that you and your guests will enjoy gathering in again and again.

Make your home even more inviting with a new coat of paint! Contact us today for a free estimate.

Simple Improvements That Can Improve Utility Performance

The current COVID-19 pandemic has caused many homeowners to experience financial hardship and uncertainty. Fortunately, there are many simple improvements you can make to your home that will reduce your utility bill and allow you to have some much-needed flexibility in your budget.

Insulate

Adding quality insulation is one of the most common and effective improvements you can make to improve your utility performance. Insulation keeps cool or warm air inside your home, reducing reliance on HVAC.

When insulating your home, you should make it a priority to cover your attic, walls, floors, crawl spaces, and basement. Out of all these areas, an attic is the most important. Studies have shown that an insulated attic is responsible for 30% of homeowners’ energy savings.

Replace Your Windows

Replacing your windows with energy efficient ones is a fantastic way to reduce your utility bill. Energy experts have revealed that the average home loses about 30% of its heating and air conditioning through the windows.

Energy efficient windows utilize a combination of window glazes, multiple panes, insulated frames, and gas fills to improve energy retention. Similar to quality insulation, energy efficient windows are better able to retain the desired temperature of your home, minimizing your dependence on your HVAC.

A Programmable Thermostat

A programmable thermostat can save you a surprising amount of energy. If no one is home during certain hours of the day or night, you can avoid spending money to cool or heat an empty house.

Many people are hesitant to invest in new technology such as a programmable thermostat or a smart thermostat. However, these worries are often unnecessary. Programmable thermostats are user-friendly and cost-effective. Even though the initial investment may cause sticker shock, it will pay for itself by saving you money each month on your utility bill.

Efficient Lighting

The lighting of your home comprises one of the most expensive portions of your utility bill. Fortunately, there are a number of creative tricks you can use to light your home more efficiently.

First, you can maximize your use of natural light. The sun provides light every day at no cost to you, so you should use this to your advantage as much as possible! Open your blinds and curtains to light your home naturally.

If you must use manmade light sources, LED bulbs are a great option. LED bulbs can lower your home utility bills and last longer than incandescent or fluorescent lights. Make sure to turn off the lights as soon as you leave a room.You can also use lamps and candles to supplement your home’s lighting. One of the best parts of efficient lighting is that it is aesthetically pleasing. As you use a variety of light sources, your home will be more welcoming and have more texture in its presentation.

Paint Your Exterior

Many people don’t know that they can save money on utilities simply by painting the exterior of their home. Just like wearing light colored clothing on a hot day can keep you cool, painting your home’s exterior in lighter shades will keep your home cooler. This concept is actually a complex scientific one, but the general principle behind it is that lighter colors absorb different wavelengths, allowing them to reflect more light than darker colors. If your home has been needing a fresh coat of paint, think about choosing lighter paint so your home stays cooler, and your wallet stays fuller.

Low-flow Faucets

The water bill can often be one of the most expensive utility bills. If you can relate with this statement, you should consider switching to low-flow faucets. Low-flow faucets are great for the environment and for your pocketbook because they save an incredible amount of water and money on your water bills. Skeptics might complain that low-flow fixtures may be inconvenient. However, low-flow toilets, faucet aerators, and showerheads can actually provide the same utility as their non-low-flow counterparts. There is a wide selection of low-flow fixtures from which you can choose.

Strategic Landscaping

Strategically landscaping your yard can actually have a big impact on your utility bill. When landscaping your yard, it’s a good idea to think about the times of the day in which your house becomes the most uncomfortable temperature-wise. These times often happen when the sun is beating down on a certain side of the house. If you plant your trees, shrubs, and vines in the right places, they can deliver shade, act as windbreaks, and reduce your energy bills.

On the other hand, yard landscaping can be a big waste of water and electricity.  When you landscape your yard, consider installing in LED or solar power lights in order to save energy. Install efficient sprinkler systems to maximize water usage efficiency. Avoid watering your lawn every day if possible.

Replace Old Appliances

Old appliances are incredibly inefficient in their energy usage. They often use more power than they need, resulting in a waste of energy. If you want to improve your utility performance, take this opportunity to invest in newer, more streamlined appliances. These will be much more efficient in their use of energy. An added perk of replacing your old appliances is that the new ones will likely be much more aesthetically pleasing, and easier to use as well.

Add New Caulk and Weatherstripping

In addition to new insulation and windows, you should consider adding new, exterior-grade caulking and weatherstripping to your home. These simple improvements are also very cost-effective—they usually cost about $20 for both. If you complete this project by yourself, you can save money on labor costs.

Make sure to caulk all the gaps and cracks where air can flow into your home, especially around all windows and doors. Reinforce the areas where your exterior siding gaps at the corners of your house. You should also check on your weatherstripping and replace it as often as necessary.

These few improvements are great for the environment, as well as for your home. If you don’t have the funds to complete them all immediately, just choose one or two, and gradually work your way up from there.

Want to save money on your bills? We can give your home some lighter paint! Contact us today to get a free estimate.

Best Renovations for the Summer Months

Summer is a great time for home improvement. The days are longer, lighter, and warmer, giving you much better working conditions than other seasons do. Use those valuable summer days for completing necessary repairs and renovations; during the summer months, turn your focus towards projects like landscaping, updating your kitchen, fixing your roof, installing or updating your air conditioning, painting, and building or updating your deck.

Landscaping

Don’t let your dream yard be no more than a dream! In the summer, the weather is more reliable and offers a great opportunity to get outside work done. Stop procrastinating the landscaping you’ve been considering and get going—summer is the perfect time for this project.

Summer landscaping does not have to be difficult, expensive, or take up a lot of your time. Even simple touches can boost the fun and beauty of your yard. For example, consider adding new plants. Native plants usually thrive in gardens without needing as much care or resources as non-native plants and flowers. You can also experiment with colorful foliage to add some spice to your yard. You can also think about adding water or light features to give your yard some extra artistry and pizzazz. Just make sure any new plants you add are hot-season plants which can thrive in the heat of summer.

Kitchen Update

Use the summertime to remodel or otherwise update your kitchen. An updated kitchen will increase not only your home’s resale value but also your home’s functionality. Does your kitchen currently have any pesky issues? Are any of your appliances beginning to die? Are their problems with your kitchen’s layout? When you update your kitchen to address those issues, you can eliminate inconveniences that are not only annoying but have also probably been around for a long while. If you upgrade your appliances, you will suddenly have the benefit of greater efficiency, leading to rewards such as increased energy and water savings. Upgrading your kitchen can also give you the benefits of better safety, comfort, and even environmental impact. If your needs or personal style has changed, summer is the perfect time to give your kitchen a makeover and bring it up to your new standards.

Roof Repair and Replacement

Summer can be the best time to repair your roof, partially because new shingles need heat in order to form their watertight seal. If your roof has reached its lifespan limit of 15 to 20 years, this summer is the perfect time to have your roof replaced. Winter conditions are not a good match for reroofing, and you want to make sure your home will be secure and comfortable once winter hits.

To check your roof to see if it needs repairs or replacement, start by looking for signs of roofing problems. Begin inside in the attic. Look for light coming in, as well as streaks or stains, for signs of a leaky roof. You should also check the state of your shingles. Do they lie flat? Are any broken, cracked, buckling, or otherwise damaged? Check your gutters for shingle granules. Check for rot and moss growing on your roof, in addition. These are sure signs that something needs to be done and it is probably time to call in a professional.

Install Air Conditioning

Summer means high time to install or upgrade air conditioning. In the heat of the summer months, you will want cool air inside your home more than ever. New air conditioning will grant you an escape from the sticky heat outside.

Air conditioning updates will do more for your home than just cool it down; in fact, air conditioning also comes with the benefits of healthier and cleaner air, increased property value, and a quieter space. You can make yourself healthier and reduce noise in your home with this small summer improvement. Newer air conditioning systems can also help you save money and even help the environment by reducing carbon emissions. If you have an old air conditioning system, update it for the summer for greater airflow and other benefits.

Painting

Summer is a very appropriate time for giving your home a new coat of paint. Because the weather is drier and warmer in the summer, this season is the ideal time for focusing on painting projects, both inside and out. You may have just finished spring cleaning, and, unlike in the winter, you have the option in the summer of opening the windows to help paint dry on interior walls and air out that irritating paint smell. Paint inside and outside your house will dry much quicker in the summer, which will speed up your process and allow you to apply new coats much sooner than would be the case in the winter. Summer is also great for painting because the heat helps thin the paint, which makes it easier to achieve the ideal paint consistency.

When it comes to painting in the summer, make sure you run fans inside in order to minimize humidity levels—humidity can negatively affect the quality of the paint. When choosing your paint and paint colors, do some research to make sure you are picking types of paint that work well in the heat. Think about coordinating colors and consider sticking to a color scheme.

Deck Repair and Replacement

Fixing or updating an old deck, or building a new one, can be a quick summer project. Decks are fun, popular, and increase your home’s value—and you’ll still have time to enjoy the finished product before fall hits. Summer practically demands outdoor living, and a deck satisfies that.

Decks are great for summer social gatherings. When you’ve finished this renovation project, you’ll have an updated space for entertaining family, friends, and other guests in style. Decks are easy to keep clean and give you the great combo of fun company and fresh air.

When summer rolls around, plan to tackle your list of renovation projects. Summer is ideal when it comes to fixing up a deck, the kitchen, the roof, and your yard, along with completing any necessary air conditioning upgrades and paint jobs. With the good weather, the time is right to get these things done.

Summer is a great time to paint your house, and we can do it for you! Contact us today for a free estimate!

How to Expedite Your Home Improvement Project

You want to speed up your home improvement project? Luckily for you, there are several easy ways in which you can do just that.

Create a Plan

Know what it will take to complete your project by creating a plan in advance. It is a great idea to know beforehand all of the costs and legal loopholes you’ll need to jump through for permits in order to undertake your project, as well as the timeframe for the project. Knowing in advance what you’re getting into will allow you to be prepared and finish quicker.

You don’t want to approach a home improvement project in a laid back manner. Failing to prepare can mean stretching your project from a week-long affair into months and months of unfinished work. Before you begin, know what you are doing and how you are going to do it. Budgeting is an essential part of this. Know what the costs will look like, and look into any legal issues which might affect your project. Then, make a schedule. Be sure to clear time in your personal schedule in order to get it done.

Hire the Right Contractor

A professional is needed if you want to get the project done quicker. Don’t try to complete the project all by yourself. Hiring a professional is a great idea because he or she will know how to do the job and know how to do it quickly, as well as provide an extra pair of hands. Just be sure to hire the right contractor for your job.

Hiring the wrong contractor can lead to scams, poor work done on your home, exorbitant costs, and frustration. In order to avoid making a poor choice in who you hire, look at online reviews, specifically on a credible site that boasts a fair number of visitors monthly. For example, websites like HomeAdvisor attract millions of visitors monthly. It is a good idea to check the contractor’s experience and qualifications, weigh their prices against other options, and check with their past customers to make sure your choice is trustworthy and pleasant to work with.

Take Advantage of Technology

Different tools can make the job a lot easier for you. Although it may seem like cheating, take advantage of technology that can simplify the more menial steps of the work. For example, instead of using a roller or brush to manually paint a wall a single color, you can utilize a paint sprayer to get the task done more quickly and more efficiently. Consider pros and cons, but don’t be afraid to take trustworthy shortcuts.

No one wants a home improvement project dragging on for months. Get yours done quickly and efficiently by creating a plan, hiring the right contractor, and taking advantage of technology.

Why paint your home yourself when we can do it for you? Contact us today for a free estimate!

Outdoor Home Repairs You Shouldn’t Neglect

How well your home takes care of you depends on how well you take care of your home. Many people don’t realize just how much maintenance their home requires. Even the sturdiest homes are going to get worn down by the elements and pests. You can keep your home in good shape if you regularly make repairs. Here are a few outdoor repairs that are crucial for keeping your home in good condition.

Siding Fixes

The siding of your home is extremely important. It does more than just provide nice aesthetics. The siding helps protect your home from pests and the elements. If your siding has become cracked or damaged, repair it immediately. If you don’t, mice, rats, cockroaches, and other bugs can make themselves a home within your walls. It won’t be long until they then get inside your home. Moisture can also get in through these cracks and holes when it rains. This could cause mold to grow in your home which is very dangerous for your health.

Broken Sprinklers

A problem in your sprinkler system can become devastating. Cracked pipes can lead to a water leak under the ground. Over time, this could cause some serious erosion problems. It could even flood your house. If you notice any sprinklers that seem to have low pressure, you may have a cracked pipe. You can also have problems with the sprinkler heads. A broken sprinkler head can cause a geyser to erupt in your yard. According to The Sprinkler Guy, fixing your sprinkler head can help reduce your water bill.

Roof and Gutters

The roof and gutters of your home are your main protection against water damage. You need to make sure that your roof is in good repair so that it can repel the rain. If you notice any cracked, torn, missing, or discolored shingles, you need to repair it right away. Failure to do so could result in damage to the plywood underneath the shingles. This could lead to you having weak patches in your roof and even sunken areas.

According to Rocket Homes, you should be regularly checking your gutters to make sure that they are clean and clear of debris. Dirty gutters can cause problems when it rains. The rain will overflow the gutter and start to pool around the edges of your home. This could cause you to have erosion issues. After the rain stops, some of the gutters will retain puddles of water. This becomes the perfect place for mosquitoes to breed.

Sidewalks and Driveway

Cracked pavement around your home can cause more problems than poor aesthetics. You could end up dealing with a lawsuit. How? As the owner of the property, it is your responsibility to keep the sidewalk in front of your home in good repair. If someone gets hurt because they tripped or crashed a bike due to your poor sidewalk repair, you could be held liable for the lack of proper maintenance. Fortunately, sidewalk repair is generally a relatively easy fix. If you have the proper tools, you could do it yourself. Or you could hire a contractor to come in and do it for you.

Windows

There are several things that you should be checking with your windows. If you have any cracks or chips, you should have the window replaced. It may not seem necessary if only one pane on a double paned window has a problem, but it is. According to City Glass, a crack in a single pane will dramatically reduce the window’s insulation properties. This could cause your energy bills to increase significantly.

You should also check the weather stripping around your windows for cracks or holes. Fixing any problems will improve your home’s insulation and keep out bugs. Lastly, check the screens for rips and tears. These aren’t much of a problem if your window is closed, but they will let in bugs if you open your windows.

Garage Door

Overtime, the gears in your garage door are going to wear out. When this happens, you should fix it immediately. You can still open your garage door by disconnecting it from the opening mechanism, but this could present a security problem. Keep your home safe by calling a repairman to come inspect your door and fix it.

The sooner that you repair the broken things around your home the better. Leaving maintenance till later will cause your house to begin to look run down. It will also give opportunity for things to get worse. If they do, repairs will only become more expensive.

Give the outside of your home some special treatment with a new paint job. Contact us for a free estimate!

Have an Old House? 3 Areas to Check in an Older Home to Help Keep You Safe

One of the many reasons that people tend to purchase older homes is because they have so much character. Today, most new homes tend to be on the cookie-cutter side and not unique enough for some homeowners. However, purchasing an older home does come with a few downsides. One of those is the condition of the home. Here are three areas you need to check in an older home to keep it functioning and safe for yourself and your family.

Electrical Wiring

Electrical wiring has come a long way since the 1940s. The methods and materials have changed, and so have government regulations regarding the type of material and installation of home wiring. The electrical wiring in your home needs to abide by the National Electrical Code. Not only can neglecting this issue cost you hefty fines from your city, but it can also put your family at risk. Accidental contact between wires can instantly cause a shock to a person or set off sparks that can cause a fire in the walls of your home.

Plumbing

Much like electrical wiring, plumbing has also changed drastically within the past few decades. These changes include the type of insulation added to pipes as well as the materials used to create the pipes themselves. Most homeowners will find that the home’s pipes might not be in the best condition. Common issues that will appear on older pipes include erosion, cracks, and discoloration. Failing to properly insulate or replace older plumbing can lead to pipes bursting and potentially flooding the inside of your home.

Roofing

The strength of a roof can determine how long you will have your home. This is because water within older homes can not only be dangerous as mold builds up, but it also weakens the already fragile roof on your home. As a responsible homeowner, you should take the time to audit your roof from inside and outside the home. Look for water spots and wall discoloration inside the home. You may also check the attic for rays of sunlight shining in where they shouldn’t be present.

Older homes hold plenty of charm, and it’s no surprise that so many people choose to purchase them. However, there are a few things that homeowners need to consider in order to protect their families from the hidden dangers of older homes. Thus, it is highly recommended to review the tips listed above and apply them to your older home.

If you need your old house painted, contact us for a free estimate!

What You Can Do to Make Your Backyard Ready for Summer Enjoyment

Summertime is one of the best seasons as it allows you to enjoy family and friends while basking in the warm sun as well. While the beaches and parks are great, entertaining your guests at home can be one of the best ways to relax during the summer months. Here are some things you can do to help get your backyard in shape so you can host gatherings this summer.

Create an Outdoor Entertainment Space

In order for you to make the most out of your backyard when entertaining in the summertime, you must create a space that is suitable for relaxing, socializing, et cetera. Installing a deck can give you the much-needed space you need in order to accommodate guests for a birthday party, barbeques, or any other type of social event. There are several benefits of installing a deck in your backyard, especially if you enjoy entertaining your friends. Not only will installing a deck provide you with space for your guests to congregate, but it can also add to the aesthetic of your home and increase its property value as well.

Plant Some Trees for Shade

While the summer sun can be most enjoyable, without proper shade, sitting in the sun for too long can become a bit of a problem. In order to make sure that your guests are as comfortable as possible when relaxing outside, it would do you good to plant trees around your yard that will provide natural shade. Not only will the trees help you and your guests relax outside in comfort, but they can also help to beautify your property at the same time. Some trees that are great for providing shade are Weeping Willows, Red Maples, Hybrid Poplars, Honey Locusts, and many more.

Add a Bird Bath and Feeder

Birds are very beautiful to not only hear singing around your property, but they are nice to look at as well. If you would like to add a little bit of wildlife to your backyard ambiance, you should consider adding a bird feeder and birdbath in order to draw birds to your yard. By adding both a bath and a feeder, even if birds don’t come to eat the seeds, they will more than likely come to enjoy the bath. This makes for a great way to relax as you and your guests get to enjoy nature right in your very own backyard.

Include a Lounge Area

One thing about the summer heat is that it can have a very relaxing effect on the body. Adding a lounge area to your yard space is a great way to be able to enjoy your friends without having a big social event. Choose a nicely shaded area and add a few comfy lounge chairs or a couple of hammocks and you have made a nice little spot to sip a cool drink and enjoy the sun. You can also add a fire pit to your backyard. A fire pit can make for a great way to enjoy your guests in a relaxed atmosphere during the summer evenings.

Revamp Your Grill Station

No summertime is truly complete without having at least one barbeque for your family and friends. If you have been hosting barbeques for quite some time, then it might be time for you to upgrade your grill station. Rather than continuously roll out that old portable grill, you can invest in a nice bricked-in grilling station with gas burners, a double griller, and more. While you may want your grill to be stylish and top of the line, you should consider functionality as well if you want to have the most efficient grilling station. Think about how you need to move while working the grill as this will help you determine where you should install a sink, prep space, burners, and more.

Cultivate a Vegetable Garden

Growing a vegetable garden is not only a great way to maintain your health, but they can add a nice aesthetic to your backyard as well. Make sure that you are choosing an area of your backyard that gets enough sunlight as most plants will require about six hours of sun each day. Also, whether you are planting in a raised bed or in the ground, choose soil that is rich in nutrients as well as soft enough in order for the plants’ roots to penetrate. Also, it is important that you are keeping your garden free of weeds by adding some mulch. Mulch also helps add to the aesthetic of your vegetable garden.

Bring the Indoors to the Outdoors

Just as you love to enjoy a meal on a restaurants’ patio when the weather is warm, you can create that ambiance right in your own backyard. When creating an eating space for your backyard, don’t just pull out a table and some chairs, but make the setting intentional as you would within your home. Try to create a space that cultivates a mood, so whenever you and your guests have a meal out there, the ambiance is created and felt. Consider adding a few statues as well as some plants in order to help identify that specific area and give it some separation from the rest of the yard as well as a semblance of intimacy.

Add Some Flowers

Having flowers in your outdoor space can make it a great getaway. An easy way to include flowers is by placing potted plants around your yard. You can also plant flowers in a flower bed, which is only a little bit more work. If you want your backyard to look tropical, you can get hanging plants.

When coming up with a design for your backyard, consider what your needs are as well as the overall look you are going for. If you like to host barbeques or pool parties, then you will need to consider your seating arrangements and other ways that you will accommodate your guests. Also, when it comes to choosing your style of furniture, plants, accessories, et cetera, choose items that will be cohesive to your overall aesthetic and design theme. If your home has more of a modern farmhouse aesthetic, you can easily find outdoor furniture and other decor items that will help to support and pull your theme together.

If you need anything painted to facilitate your backyard area remodel, contact us for a free estimate!

8 Helpful Tips to Consider When Flipping a House

Flipping houses can be a very lucrative business if you know what you are doing. Here are some tips that can help you make the best decisions when you’re selling houses for a profit.

Determine Your Budget

Flipping houses can be a great investment strategy; however, as with any investment, it is important that you create a reasonable budget. Investing is a gamble. Therefore, you should not invest any more money than what you can afford to lose. Once you have determined how much disposable income you have, then you can look for homes that are within that price range.

Choose the Right House to Flip

No matter how nice the house is, if the neighborhood is bad, you may find it very difficult to flip. Most people who are looking to buy either have a family or plan to start one; therefore, the type of neighborhood the house is in will really make a difference to your success. Keep in mind that the nicer the neighborhood is, the more the property value will be. When you’re getting started with flipping a house, you should purchase a smaller house until you’re more familiar with the process.

Talk With Contractors

One of the things that you will need to do in order to truly become successful at flipping houses is to purchase houses that require some fixing up so that you will see a profit. If you are skilled with a hammer and a drill and have a decent eye for interior design, then you might be able to get away with doing a few things yourself, such as painting, changing hardware, et cetera. However, when it comes to changing light fixtures or remodeling bathrooms and kitchens, you will most likely need the help of a good contractor. Having a good relationship with a contractor can really help with the flipping process because they can help you turn a fixer-upper into a dream home that sells and makes you a hefty profit.

Create a Schedule and Stay Organized

As you begin the renovation process, it is very important that you have a construction plan in order to help get things done efficiently. Even organizing how you remove waste and get rid of unused materials should be done in an orderly fashion with the use of a dumpster and other receptacles. Having places for dumping your scraps creates a safe space in the construction site.

Making Offers the Smart Way

If you are very new to the world of flipping houses, then you should make your offers wisely in order to prevent yourself from making a bad deal. For starters, the whole purpose of flipping a house is to make a profit, which is why you must really consider what the house is selling for. However, you need to know that there is a lot of competition out there, especially when the house is selling for a low amount. One way that you can kind of skirt around the competition is by scouting neighborhoods of interest and making offers to the owners directly.

Consider Selling With a Realtor

Of course, if you choose to sell your house on your own, you can avoid having to pay any fees to a Realtor. However, the downside of that is, because you are listing your house on your own, it may take quite a long time to sell, and that’s if it even sells at all. In order to really see a profit when flipping houses, you will need the homes to sell quickly so that you can move on to the next house. Realtors are experienced at selling homes and can definitely help you move the house quickly because they are well versed in what it takes to make a property sell fast and for the best price.

Flipping Foreclosed Versus Fixer-Upper Homes

Buying a house that has been foreclosed on can be quite a lengthy and detailed process because you must wait for all of the red tape to clear. Furthermore, you may find that it is quite difficult to obtain financing. However, if you are paying cash, then you might be able to find some pretty good deals if you are willing to wait it out. On the other hand, when you are purchasing a fixer-upper, not only is it much easier and quicker to get financing, but, depending on how long it takes you to do renovations, the property can also sell pretty quickly.

Choose Your Repairs Wisely

While you must make some repairs and renovations if you want to see a nice profit, you don’t want to do too much that will end up not resulting in a good return. First and foremost, when you are inspecting potential homes, you must consider the amount of work that needs to be done and if it will be worth it to you to make the investment. Making huge repairs, such as fixing a leaky roof or solving HVAC issues, might not be a problem, depending on how much the house is selling for, what type of neighborhood the house is in and how much you think you can get for the home once completed. However, while you will want to do some cosmetic work along with the structural repairs as a way to really entice buyers, you don’t want to do so much that you end up cutting into your profits or not making a profit at all.

There are many websites that offer online real-estate auctions, but whether you are looking for a foreclosure or a fixer-upper, you shouldn’t make any purchases without viewing the home first. You will need to not only inspect the home in order to see what repairs need to be done and determine if it is worth the investment, but you will also need to consider the neighborhood. Remember that when buyers are looking at homes, the neighborhood will play a huge role in their decision making; therefore, you should consider this aspect as well. Also, keep in mind what the other houses are valued at within the neighborhood. You won’t really be able to sell for much more than the average home costs, so keep that in mind when making offers as well as considering how much to spend on repairs.

Here’s another article you might like: Tips to Make Your Next Home Improvement Project Go Smoothly

Tips to Make Your Next Home Improvement Project Go Smoothly

Resist the urge to dive straight into your next home improvement project. Before you begin, it’s beneficial to take a little time to determine your budget, make a plan to organize everything, and create a flexible timeline to complete the project successfully.

Plan Some Flex in Your Budget

One of the most popular reasons for homeowners to take on DIY projects is to save money. The cost of labor associated with home renovation is usually the most expensive part. So, take time to plan out your budget and get organized from the start. The most straightforward way to do this is to pay a visit to your local home improvement store. Bring a notebook and take note of prices on things like plumbing fixtures, lighting, tile and flooring. Once you have an idea of their cost, you should sit down and determine a ballpark figure.

The next step is to try to determine exactly how much you will need for other components of the remodel—things like screws, nails, electrical switch plates, framing wood and drywall. It’s also important to be flexible regarding materials and quantities. To be on the safe side, a good rule of thumb is to plan on spending 10 to 20 percent over your estimated budget.

Organization Plan

Keep yourself sane by creating a plan to organize your tools and supplies. Keeping tools organized is critical to keeping things running smoothly. You don’t want to be running around looking for a tool while adhesives dry without adhering things together or eyeballing critical cuts because you can’t find your measuring tape.

For easy access, you might want to organize your tools using something like a pegboard or tool foam. This can help you to keep all your tools in a place where you can easily find them. This can also help you to be safe, as each individual tool will have a place that isn’t on the floor where you could otherwise step on them and injure yourself.

Create a Flexible Timeline

Perhaps the most frustrating part of a home renovation is when work comes to a standstill waiting for as-yet-undelivered supplies or an inspection by city or county officials. So, create a flexible timeline for your remodel. Find out what the lead time is for components of the plan that need to be ordered and proceed accordingly.

Also, be aware that city and county inspectors visit dozens of properties every week and may not be available to inspect the finished work on your property for several days or even weeks. Don’t be tempted to forego these official inspections. The inspector has to review certain aspects of the renovation before the next step can be completed.

Organizing and performing a home renovation yourself can save you money and give you satisfaction. Fortunately, there are ways like these that can help make the process a little easier. You can make it go a little more smoothly by getting organized before you start.

First Time Renting Equipment for Your Home Improvement Project? Read This First

Renting equipment for a home improvement project isn’t complicated, but it will require you to fill out a lot of paperwork. You’ll also have the task of taking care of delicate, expensive equipment. Before you sign on the dotted line, read these three tips so you know what you’re getting into.

Know What You Sign

When you’re renting equipment, the rental company is going to have you sign a plethora of paperwork. There will be a lot of small print, but you must read every bit of it. A lot of paperwork that you sign could have extra fees hidden in the fine print, insurance-related clauses, rules and regulations, and other pertinent information. Not knowing this information upfront can lead to extra costs that you weren’t expecting or maybe even a sullied relationship with the equipment rental company. For example, you bear the liability if you don’t follow local regulations for getting permits for certain work near utilities or if you don’t know how to operate the equipment correctly.

Protect the Equipment

When signing the paperwork, be sure to check if the equipment is already insured and for how much. If not, you could be liable for damage due to unexpected surprises. You know Murphy’s law- what can happen will happen. One great idea to protect the equipment is by purchasing Rental Equipment Protection insurance. This protects your wallet in case the equipment is damaged.

You’ll also want to protect your home and yard. Equipment and gear tend to be heavy. If the gear is heavy enough, you’ll need mats to protect your yard. Inside your home, you’ll want mats, plastic covers, and other safety gear.

Return Equipment on Time

Meeting deadlines is very important. For one, someone else may have a reservation for the equipment. More importantly, you may be charged late fees for late returns. Late fees can sometimes be outrageous. They may even end up being more than what you paid to rent the equipment. Make sure when you’re reading the paperwork, you’re aware of the return time and date, and you’re aware of the late fee price.

Renting home improvement equipment can come with a lot of paperwork, fine print, and extra fees. If you make yourself aware of every little step of the process, you won’t be caught by surprise. You’ll be prepared and organized so you’ll have less stress along the way. This will give you the ease of mind you need as you focus on the success of your home improvement project.

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